Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, following an official welcoming ceremony for the latter in Hanoi on January 25.

The two ministers reviewed the results of defence cooperation between Vietnam and the US in the recent past and agreed on measures and orientations to promote cooperative ties in the coming time, based on a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2011, a Joint Vision Statement on defence ties signed in 2015, an action plan for 2018-2020, and agreements reached by their senior leaders.

Both held that the bilateral defence cooperation has been producing practical outcomes in line with the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership, particularly in searching for missing US servicemen, AO/dioxin decontamination, bomb and mine clearance, rescue and humanitarian aid, and UN peacekeeping operation.

The two ministers also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence applauded the US’s cooperation in a project on dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airport as well as its support for Vietnam’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

The defence ministries of the two nations also asked their senior leaders for permission to allow an US aircraft carrier to visit the central city of Da Nang in March this year.

After the talks, Lich handed over war keepsakes of US servicemen to Mattis and introduced an exhibition on the outcomes of bilateral cooperation in addressing post-war consequences and joining UN peacekeeping operations.

Mattis is paying an official visit to Vietnam on January 24 and 25. This is the 6th visit to Vietnam by a US Secretary of Defence since the two countries normalised relations in 1995 and the first by Mattis since he took office as leader of the Pentagon.-VNA